Democrats attempt to capitalize on unemployment vote
Perhaps in someway buoyed by Governor Tim Kaine‘s harsh reaction to the rejection by House Republicans of changes to the state unemployment benefits, Democrats are on the march. They seem to be using the issue as a clarion call for the upcoming election cycle. They see the vote as an example of a clear and distinct difference between themselves and their GOP counterparts.
For instance, Gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe lashed out and Republican nominee Bob McDonnell (who supported the Republican vote). He just put out a statement saying the following:
‘At a time when we should be working across party lines to get our economy back on track, McDonnell has shown once again that he is more interested in political games and heated partisan rhetoric than working to find bipartisan solutions.’
State Senator Creigh Deeds, also a candidate for Governor was part of the battle on the legislative floor Wednesday night. He was forced to miss a scheduled appearance at his Richmond headquarters in order to be a part of the debate. He put out a statement moments after the vote that said in part:
“It’s unconscionable that Bob McDonnell and Virginia Republicans decided to turn their backs on stimulus funding that would have helped laid-off Virginia workers get back on their feet.”
In the moments after the vote, the seemingly boring piece of legislation which is very difficult to explain became heavy fodder on Democratic blogs. Many encouraging their readers to “take names” of the Republicans who voted against the plan and then “kick butt”.
It even sprinkled down to local elections for delegate seats. Tom Shields, a candidate in the 73rd district which includes Henrico and Richmond, sent me a statement last night criticizing his opponent the Republican incumbent John O’Bannon. It was the first release of any kind that I had recieved from his campaign. He took aim at O’Bannon’s vote calling it “out of touch”.
While this issue is certainly one that has the potential to enrage democratic-leaning voters, we will have to see if it resonates beyond the party faithful.